Exhibitions - Whakakitenga
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the creatives


6 December 2014 - 29 March 2015


Tanya Marriot, Nick Keller and Sacha Lees are outstanding examples of creatives who have made their imagination work for them.

All Weta Workshop affiliates, Lees and Marriott contributed to the success of the Lord of the Rings and Nick Keller to the Hobbit trilogy.  Have made their mark in the industry, their desire to carve out new creative horizons, to both collaborate and to self direct has enriched their art practice.

This show illustrates the fruits of their latest endeavours, from toy parrots to heavy metal album covers, the journey is a wild one.

The works on display have been kindly loaned by the artists themselves at the request of Puke Ariki.


Tanya Marriott....

...is among many other things, the President of the National Institute of American Doll Artists. She is also an industrial designer, a puppet stop-motion filmmaker, an illustrator and an award winning wearable art maker.

She is currently a Senior Lecturer at the College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington where she primarily lectures on animation, play and game design.

Nick Keller...

...is a digital painter using Photoshop and a digital sculpter using Zbrush.  Nick studied civil engineering but decided to follow his true passion and sent a portfolio into Weta Workshop.  He was successful and has for the past eight years worked there as a concept designer.  He has worked on a number of projects at Weta Workshop, most notably The Hobbit trilogy which was released in 2012-2014.

In 2009 Nick turned to oil painting.  This started out as a purely personal pursuit but has led to some interesting collaborations.  In 2010 he worked on an album cover for Beast Wars, a heavy metal band based in Wellington and won a Tui award for best album cover in 2011.

Sacha Lees...

...is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading fantasy artists.

Born in 1977 on the South Island’s wild West Coast, Sacha Lees initially trained in graphic design but soon found a more appropriate outlet for her talents at the then little known ‘Weta’ Workshop.  She has worked as an illustrator, creature designer and airbrush artist for Weta, including on the 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy released in 2001-3. Following this she has worked on her own imaginative art and on commissioned portraiture which often incorporates trademark elements of her fantasy vision. 

Sacha spent time in Florence studying the methods of the old masters. She likes to mix realism with the impossible. The resulting paintings are sometimes sinister, sometimes idyllic and childlike, and always surprising.